National Security Institute Publishes New NSI Law and Policy Paper: “Understanding the Techlash: Implications for U.S. Innovation Policy”

June 10, 2021
Contact: Grant Haver

National Security Institute Publishes New NSI Law and Policy Paper:
“Understanding the Techlash: Implications for U.S. Innovation Policy”


Arlington, VA – The tech industry – both through their actions and their relationship with U.S. governmental bodies – can greatly impact a wide-range of national security matters. The National Security Institute (NSI) at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School’s latest NSI Law and Policy Paper, “Understanding the Techlash: Implications for U.S. Innovation Policy,” by NSI Visiting Fellow Zach Graves, recommends strengthening U.S. institutions to tackle these complex issues through increasing capacity, building a stronger federal workforce, and increasing transparency.

This NSI Law & Policy Paper is the latest release from NSI’s Technology Innovation and American National Security Project. This project focuses on understanding how America’s preeminent role in technology innovation is being threatened and what can be done to maintain American leadership in this vital sector.

This NSI Law and Policy Paper:

  • Describes how the techlash is a combination of different issues across different interest groups, political factions, and industry sectors.
  • Evaluates the extent to which the policy debates surrounding the techlash are driven by popular sentiment vs. other forces.
  • Argues there are positive actions federal policymakers can take to address legitimate concerns without undermining American innovation.
  • Provides actionable recommendations to both address concerns raised by the techlash movement and strengthen the U.S. innovation economy.

“Policymakers on both sides of the aisle have dramatically shifted how they approach the regulation of the tech sector. This raises significant questions for the future of American innovation, national security, and global competitiveness,” said author Zach Graves. “This paper focuses on explaining the forces driving this shift, and how it may shape the debate in the future.”

“As Zach Graves rightly points out, the ongoing techlash is a real thing and potentially has serious implications for our economic and national security,” said NSI Founder and Executive Director Jamil N. Jaffer. “Zach’s comprehensive cataloging of the challenges and issues at play in the techlash conversation helps provide a roadmap for policymakers and their staffs to get into the heart of this critically important matter.”

The paper is available here.

Zach Graves’s bio can be found here.

About the National Security Institute
The National Security Institute serves as a platform for research, teaching, scholarship, and policy development that incorporates a realistic assessment of the threats facing the United States and its allies, as well as an appreciation of the legal and practical challenges facing U.S. intelligence, defense, law enforcement, homeland security, and cybersecurity communities. NSI draws on the experience of its fellows, as well as its highly distinguished advisory board and faculty, to produce timely research and policy materials that deliver insightful analysis and actionable recommendations to senior policymakers in the White House and key departments and agencies, as well as those on Capitol Hill.

About George Mason
George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls more than 33,000 students from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.

About the Scalia Law School
The Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University is defined by three words: Learn. Challenge. Lead. Students receive an outstanding legal education (Learn), are taught to critically evaluate prevailing orthodoxy and pursue new ideas (Challenge), and, ultimately, are well prepared to distinguish themselves in their chosen fields (Lead). It has been one of America’s top-ranked law schools for the last fifteen years.